Art, Architecture and Material Culture (13th-16th c.)
Nafplion (Greece), 19-23 April 2017
Vouleftiko (Old Parliament Building)
About the conference
The aim of this conference is to examine the artistic legacy of the Mendicant Orders, namely the Franciscans and the Dominicans, in the eastern Mediterranean. This hitherto unexplored topic has been overshadowed by the extensive research on the mendicants mainly in Italy and the West in general. Unlike the Crusaders, who were viewed with hostility in the East, the Mendicants, on account of their ascetic way of life, promoted a compassionate face of Catholic Western Europe in the eyes of the Orthodox in the East. The Mendicants' vow of poverty and active charity among the poor brought in closer contact two worlds of differing doctrines, hitherto divided by the traumatic religious schism in 1054 and the sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade in 1204.
This conference brings together a group of junior and senior scholars, active in academic research as well as archaeological fieldwork, who collaborate in presenting new material, exchange ideas, and formulate new approaches, shedding light on the activity of the Mendicant Orders in the Eastern Mediterranean. The participation of scholars from throughout Europe and the United States promotes a ‘global’ exchange of ideas and can foster new methodological approaches. The expertise of researchers working on the Mendicants in Italy will stimulate research interest in their activities in the East and, it is hoped, will create a new area of study.